Category Archives: Horror

HE ALSO ASKED ME TO SIT ON HIS LAPS – WHAT PEOPLE DON’T WANT TO HEAR OR SAY ABOUT THEIR PASTORS

I didn’t want to write this story. Never ever! It’s one of those things as they say, one should cover up, especially when one considers the human beings involved. But I thank God that someone like Ese Walter came out and shared her story. I am not God, so I can’t disprove her and say she’s lying, nor can I say she’s telling the truth. I’m only here to share my own story because something has been stirred in me.

Mine is a little different from hers but it runs along the same lines and I will combine it with a similar story because I want to expose a few things today. It is not easy to come out and share this. I stand to be judged for sharing it, especially by those who share the same faith as me and who have known me from home. But I make no apologies. I am a grown woman, a mother, a wife. And my husband approves. Nobody’s judgmental opinions matter.

Before I go to the main, story, read this intro. I hoped to hide this too through some random blog post about child abuse. I wrote this a long time ago and tried so many times to post it but my guts failed me. Today I share it. Here’s my story:

She was only six years old when her father’s friend visited their home. She didn’t know much about the visitor but she called him Uncle Cameroun because that was where she was told he lived. His name began with a C too but now she doesn’t remember. He could have been very fair or very dark. After all these years his face still chooses to be a mystery to her.

The first time she enters the guest room to see him, her whole family is in the parlor watching Another Life. A curious child she is, she wants to know what is in his bag. Earlier, he had promised her some goodies. But she finds nothing. The bag is full of books. Her eyes stroll to the dressing table and she sees a sachet of red pills. They look inviting and she picks the sachet.

“Uncle, what is this?”

“Blood medicine.”

“Blood medicine? What are they doing with it?”

“Bring it here.”

She takes the pills to him and he pops one into his hand. He puts it in her mouth and she instantly likes it.

“Iz sweet!”

“Yes. And it gives you blood.”

“Why?”

“Because you need blood to be strong.”

She keeps licking the pill and when the sugar-coated part of the blood supplement is over, she spits it out.

“Iz not sweet again.”

He takes her hand and draws her towards him.

“There is another thing that can give you blood.”

“What?”

“Let me show you. Turn around.”

She turns away from his face but she’s very curious and tries to look back.

“Face your front,” his voice is a little gruff and she obeys it.

Next thing she knows, his hands lift her dress and runs over her sides.

She is innocent. She doesn’t know what he is doing. There is no danger alert device installed in her system. Her brain has no explanation for what is going on. She stands there and takes his abuse, oblivious. After he is done, he tells her she’s a good girl.

“Don’t tell anybody. When you come back from school tomorrow, come back here and collect more blood so that you can be strong. Don’t wear any pant. Don’t tell anybody o!”

She is happy to leave the room but she can’t wait for more blood tomorrow. As he has instructed her, she tells no one.

The next day, after school, she runs into his room in her school uniform. He does as he pleases with her; gives ten kobo afterwards. She uses it to buy local sweets and shares with her sister and cousins. She looks forward to the following day.

This continues for the entire week—she collects ‘blood’ everyday and he buys her sweets. Finally, his visit is over and he must return to Cameroun.

The little girl is sad.

“Uncle, you will come again?”

“Of course, he will,” her dad says, oblivious of what his daughter has gone through.

He never comes back. She grows up, forgets him.

Years later, in her friend’s room on campus, she gets into a conversation with a bunch of girls. All of them have a secret to share; they have all been sexually molested as children. Every one of them.

It is then she remembers… A scene from a girl’s story sparks something in her and she remembers everything Uncle Cameroun did to her. Somehow, her mind had blanked him out all these years but now she sees everything in detail. It should not be in her memory if it has been quiet all these years but strangely, it is there—the picture of a six year old girl who was the object of a man’s dark sexual fantasies. He had pleasured himself while looking at her naked body for one full week.

She cannot handle the recollections as she leaves her friend’s room and goes home. Tears are her food for days. For weeks, she goes through the horror of her past over and over. Time makes her forget because she commands it to. She pushes it all into that blank place it came from and she moves on with life, unhealed, scarred, broken.

Uncle Cameroun was a pastor.

In 2004, while in school in my second semester, I fell really ill. I had the dreaded combo of typhoid, malaria and brokeness, so I did what every normal student would do. I went home. I had one other reason for going home: my ‘uncle’ was in the country. Not, Uncle Cameroun. Another one. And I needed to tax him for house rent which he promised me. Now, this uncle is not a blood relative. He is that uncle that one grew up knowing as one’s parents’ friend. He lived outside the shores of Nigeria and visited the country at least twice a year and spent both times at our home. We were very close. Now, this uncle, because of his oyinbo orientation, was very open with us and we were the same way with him. In short, I shared with him my relationship issues at some point and he gave me good advice on what to do. I trusted him that much.

Now, my dad’s a gentleman of the cloth (pastor) and so is this uncle. Let’s call him Z. Now, Z was a bishop. A well-respected bishop overseas; a doctor, a theologian, a learned man and member of the Jewish community. Whenever he came into the country, he was always so booked that it was hard to see him except for the little time he spent at ours. Therefore I was lucky to meet him at home. I arrived home on a Sunday really, really ill. By Monday, I wasn’t any better. My dad left the house early to the church for a preaching engagement. My mom left to work, my aunt to some place, my sister to some place and everyone just vanished and I was left alone with Bishop Z.

He called me out to the sitting room and asked how I was doing. I told him I was getting better as per the normal answer na. Next, he asked me to sit on his laps. I did. Without hesitation. It wasn’t anything new. My sis and I had been innocently sitting on that man’s laps for as long as I can remember. He was like a father to us. So I sat and he started asking me about the house rent issue and I told him how much I wanted. He told me he was going to give it to me before he travelled. I thanked him and he asked why I was thanking him, that he would do anything for me, that after all I was getting married to his son. I laughed and while I was laughing innocently, I felt his hand on my breast. Now, I was a girl and I had been in situations when a guy wants to start getting fresh with you and he makes a move that you think is a mistake, that maybe his hand just mistakenly brushes against your body.

That was how I felt. It had to be a mistake. But I felt it a second time and I froze. I was shocked. I couldn’t move because I couldn’t believe it was happening to me. When he saw that he got me immobile, he became bolder and started groping. That was when I found the strength to move away. I asked what he was doing and he laughed and said, ‘why are you acting like you don’t know what’s happening? Are you a virgin?’

I couldn’t reply. I got up to move away but he pulled me back and became very forceful. Guys, I was scared for my life. I was very weak; if you know what typhoid can do to you, you’ll know how frail I was. I could hardly move and it seemed my struggles were useless but this man just kept on touching me all over, oblivious of my begging and tears and he was in the process of lifting my dress when God sent an angel to the front door.

My dad had sent someone to come pick him up. Mind you, he was to be speaking in the church in less than an hour at a pastor’s conference. I ran to the door, opened it for the driver and ran back inside crying. My heart was beating faster than a racecar. I was scared to death. I could hardly breathe. Minutes later, he left with the guy and I called my boyfriend and told him everything. Naturally, he was mad and told me to report it but I couldn’t.

And here’s why.

I told you my dad is a pastor. Before this, I have heard of stories like this and have gotten in-depth gist of such situations and always, the blame fell on the girls or women that were involved either in a rape situation or a consensual sexual affair with a man of God. Thus, I knew, nothing would be done to him if I reported and I knew I would be blamed for seducing him or something of the likes. So I kept it all in; I didn’t even tell my sister immediately. That man stayed in our house for a whole week and even on Wednesday, I went for midweek service and watched him preach. As usual, the church was slain in the spirit by his theatrics and I sat in one corner and asked myself what in God’s world was going on. This was the man that almost raped me on Monday, now here he was talking about living a holy life? Nothing made sense.

I kept that story to myself and told my sister when I noticed he was getting close to her. She wasted no time in telling my mom who got mad at his behavior. Things went awry after that and I will not expose family issues here. But later on, I was told by a close friend who travelled around the country on his preaching engagements with Bishop Z, that my case was small. There were more vulnerable women out there that fell into his trap – wives, daughters, including orphaned twins who had come to him for help. But like I said, he was just another randy MOG amongst so many others I knew.

Unless you have been a victim to the wiles of these fake pastors or have witnessed firsthand what the disgusting things they do in the name of God, you will not understand where Ese Walter is coming from. Her case was not like mine. She had consensual sex with the pastor in question and she has no right to play the victim. But was she a victim? Yes, she was. To what extent? To the extent that these men, if they have the oratory power to make their members believe anything they tell them, they also have that same power to make spiritually weak women fall into sin with them.

I visited a church earlier this year and the senior pastor towards the end of the service, picked me out of the crowd and shamelessly told me I was beautiful and when I got embarrassed, he told me not to be, that God had a calling for my life and that I should see him after church. I obeyed and waited after the service. He came to me and continued the whole you’re beautiful speech and then asked to be my ‘personal’ pastor. No, scratch that. He begged. Not once, not twice; three times and when he saw the shock I carried, he went on to ask why I was shocked, that hasn’t anyone ever been that bold towards me? He continued, saying that there’s a calling of God for me, blah-blah-blah, he will publish my books and give me a job with a publishing company that has offices in London and South Africa. I should just let him bring out God’s gift in me. Nobody told me twice to leave that church with speed. He even had the guts to call me the next day by 10pm and my husband tore my ear with warning about him. Now, is that a man of God? But if I told his members? What do you think they would say?

On the top of the list of women’s problems are infertility, lack of husband, spousal abuse and financial issues. Such women are vulnerable and the closest spiritual figures they have next to God are their pastors. They will believe anything they’re told and might even do anything and these evil men prey on them and use them and when these women come out to speak, we open our mouths and tell them to shut up.

So, just because he carries the title of MOG, he is automatically sinless and untouchable by human scrutiny and investigation?

Of course, I have seen a case where a lady had consensual sex with her pastor and came out and told the world he raped her. There will always be lies by crazy people but this should only push us to make our spiritual leaders more accountable.

Cases like Ese Walter’s happen every damn day and people know about it and do nothing! I have seen a church where a man was caught in adultery and instead of having the backseat to shame him, he was given the seat in front with the leaders because he was a pastor while his cohorts in sin sat behind because they were members. Reason: I quote “one has to be careful when dealing with a man of God. He’s not to be handled the same way a normal Christian is handled.” But (excuse my language here) he has a dick abi? Or is it a spiritual dick? And he has sex the normal way or is there a biblical kind of sex that we don’t know about which makes it okay for these men to commit blatant adultery and God does not look?

Oh, okay, my bad. There is a different level of grace on them, abi?

Well, for those of you who believe this, I ask: what if this MOG is screwing your wife, daughter or sister or mother? Do your lyrics remain the same or do you scream bloody murder?

We Nigerians are so quick to jump into the “Touch not my anointed and do my prophet no harm” verse when it concerns our pastors. But have we read that passage to find out who God was referring to? Please go read 1st Chronicles 16.

More quick questions here: if my pastor tries to have sex with me and I report him to someone who can bring him to order, am I harming him? If I try to speak out against what he’s doing and nobody is listening and I am getting threats instead, am I harming a prophet? It’s bad enough that we live in a society where women are often blamed for rape and consensual extramarital affairs while the men are left free. The church is supposed to be the place where none of that is allowed, where hypocrisy is unveiled and truth abounds. Why then do we carry that same spirit into our places of worship?

I am one of the strong proponents of us not judging each other, though I too, still fall into this sin many times. But what gives us the right to damn politicians and everyday people to hell and even in our prayers but when we see the wrong in our pastors, we keep quiet about it and venerate them to a pedestal that is sometimes shockingly higher than Christ’s?

Let us face the truth: These are mere men. Sadder is the fact that people seem to believe that the super apostles (with private jets and huge churches and massive followings) are void of sin. If a small pastor in a mushroom church is caught in adultery, he should be persecuted but if a super apostle is caught, the whistle blower should be persecuted, silenced and delivered of her evils. Bet why?! Strip one of these super apostles of their wealth and his congregation would be the first to cast their stones and blogs will not be enough to post their sins on.

I repeat: They are mere men. As a Christian, you should know that we (not just one man) are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation. Not one man. Not some men. Me and you as long as we believe, God will use us. He spoke through a donkey. Jesus sat and ate with people that even in our church today, we would turn our noses against. From some of such sinners came the gospel which we preach today because it was God who chose the vessels.

What criteria then do we use to know true men of God today? Sadly, there is none. At least, doctors spend eight years in school and every other profession has some form of accreditation. Yet there is none for pastors. Even theological seminary is not enough because we have atheists who have studied Christianity better than Christians themselves and can quote the Bible word for word, yet do not believe in God.

So what criterion do we use? We have only one standard and that is the word of God. If you’re a true Christian, you will not judge Peter and let Paul go free if both of them committed the same crime. You will judge neither but will bring their sins under the light of truth to weigh and see if they are on the right path or not, also being mindful that one day, you could be in their shoes as well. And when you see the wrong, you ask for mercy on their behalf and do not claim one is righteous over the other.

What then should be done to men in position who abuse their office? We demand from them to lead by example or else what they feed on, they feed back to their followers. If they refuse to lead a godly life, they should not lead us at all! The principle when last I checked is ‘follow me as I follow Christ’. If a man is following the lusts of his flesh, and we want to keep to rules and principles for order in God’s house, let us expel such a person as the Bible says in 1st Corinthians 5 because a little yeast works through a whole batch of dough. Makes me wonder why there is so much immoral lifestyle in the church. It is because predators, victims, partakers, spectators, contributors, judges, people on the fence, all of them keep quiet and it spreads from the head to the least person. Just because we don’t want to expose our sins and seek for mercy.

I don’t claim to be a saint. And I feel bad that I kept quiet and watched a man whom I should have exposed for what he did, continue doing it because I was afraid. Today, I keep his identity a secret because he is no longer in that position and has fallen from grace. Am I happy about it? Yes, I’m happy that he is not manipulating any more vulnerable and weak women. But at the same time, I am sad because that was a man God had deposited his word into and given the occasion to speak the truth but because he hid his sin and others like me helped him lock it with a huge padlock, he imploded on the inside and took many down with him.

Ladies, stop seducing your pastor. God has given you the strength to flee if he is too weak to flee. Go to church, face your God. Stop disturbing pastor for special prayers biko; that’s why women leaders are there. Leave those pastors! They are just men and last I checked, can still be affected by your boobs and bom-bom.

Let us be the donkey and not be afraid to speak the truth when we see things go wrong in the pulpit but let us also do so in love, remembering that it could be us in the shoes of our neighbor tomorrow.

Thanks to @OD_lifecoach, @larriepeniel and @ameh_arome

They gave me the strength to write this.

©Sally @moskedapages

The Stilettos [Secondary School Tales]

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Shorter days, longer nights… darkness seemed to arrive early for the girls in Fatima Dorm during the harmattan season of 1989. But the night was never truly dark for them. After food and night prep, the girls always gathered around Omasan. She was a tall, slim girl who was beautiful, boisterous and loved to entertain them with her up-to-date dance moves. Of course, it was against the rules to dance to or listen to secular music but she had her little tape player with her. It was one of those funny things that had a handle one had to wind before any sound came out. She also had a mix tape of the latest disco and dancehall songs and taught the others the moves all the cool guys and girls in America loved boogying to. Her father was rich and they had a second home in Chicago where her elder sisters lived. They were the ones that took her to the disco halls and introduced her to boys and taught her things girls her age shouldn’t know. She was 17 going on 30. She had seen all, heard all, done all. School would have been hell for the girls in Form Four if she had not been part of it.

Omasan also dominated the world around her during classes. The boys wanted her, juniors looked up to her with an adoration reserved for role models and the teachers doted on her because she always made teaching worth the effort with excellent grades. But no one knew that her dark side was as real as the light. She kept it hidden so well, masked by her ever lively persona. No one had ever seen her cry or sad. She had been seen on occasion get really angry. The first time was when a boy had made a derogatory remark about her in class. Omasan left the section apportioned to girls, marched to the boys’ desk which he shared with two others, and flung his face with a nasty slap. The second time was when Miss Boma, their math teacher, had called her spoilt and rotten and ordered her to remove her earrings because they were, in her opinion, too flashy and carnal. Omasan objected not and obeyed the woman but turned into a raging bull the next day when she saw the same earrings adorning the woman’s ears. There were different versions of the type of words Omasan said to her in class that day but the 17 year old was suspended for two weeks for her rudeness to the woman. No one gave Omasan an award for her behavior but it was glaringly obvious that Miss Boma had gone too far.

A tall, strikingly beautiful woman, Miss Boma made Omasan her worst enemy. She hated everything else too—her fellow teachers for being too lenient, the students for being unruly, the principal for not running the school the way she envisioned and life itself for dumping her into this miserable terra firma where men used women as they pleased. In conclusion, Miss Boma was everyone’s worst nightmare and she made no apologies for being the person she was. Easily heard a mile away because of the rhythmical sound of her pointy stilettos, a noisy class in a flash turned into a group of students with heads bent studiously going through their textbooks. Not a peep would be heard except the sound of the kois-kois, kois-kois, kois-kois that usually announced her coming. She would stop in the middle of the class, place her hand on her waist and with wide eyes fish for a poor victim to unleash her terror on. Omasan was always her quarry but the girl took it all in and waited patiently for a perfect moment to put the fear of God in the woman because it seemed the first assault of curse words she had rained on the mean creature had not gotten to her. Someone needed to put the woman in her place.

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“Lights out!” one of the prefects called but the girls in Yellow Room didn’t bother to obey. They were having a dance fest around Omasan’s corner as she taught them the Butterfly dance in rhythm to Milli Vanilli’s Baby Don’t Forget My Number. However the party was cut short as sounds of girls from the opposite block running into their rooms in a frenzy interrupted them. In seconds, everyone dispersed, lights went out and not one soul was seen across the square that demarcated both blocks. On Omasan’s block, the whispers “she’s coming! she’s coming!” spread round like a ripple until someone switched off the lights. Nonetheless, Omasan’s music remained playing.

“Off that thing!” someone said in a sharp tone and Omasan picked her cassette player and angrily settled into her bed. She watched the girls running to their bunks to hide like mice scurrying from a cat and she sighed. The scene was never different; every night, it was the same thing. Just yesterday, the cat had appeared unannounced during siesta and both junior and senior girls scampered to their rooms and in their headlong flight to safety, left buckets rolling on the floor, wet clothes strewn around and the tap by the garden running in full force.

The cat, Omasan’s staunch enemy, Miss Boma, walked into the dormitory, stood on the concrete slab where the running tap was situated and called out in a ghostly voice to every girl born of a woman to appear in front of her before the sweat she wiped off her brow dropped to the ground. There was no little rout as the teenagers rushed out and lined up before her.

Miss Boma stood tall and beautiful, her jerry curls shining under the sun and her bright, red lips curled in a crooked smirk. She was the Nigerian version of Vanessa Williams but no one called her that for fear of swelling her head.

Miss Boma strolled from left to right before the girls, tapping her cane in her hand in rhythm to the sound of her shining blue stilettos which seemed to be in a vortex that protected them from the splattering tap. Each time the drops of water came in contact with the pair, they immediately slid down as if scared of their shining blue surface.

“I can see that you girls are beginning to grow horns! No, some of you are growing testicles! Do you know what testicles are?”

She waited but no one dared answer.

“Boys have them and that is why they behave like pigs and goats and dogs! And it is a shame that some of you now have those same testicles, like Omasan!” She pointed the cane at Omasan and the girl rolled her eyes exasperatedly. She knew the gathering wouldn’t end without her name being mentioned, so she braced herself for more trouble.

“Omasan believes that her spoilt, heathen, American lifestyle should be shared with the rest of the school and some foolish girls have decided to follow her. Monkey see, monkey do, ehn? Well, let me let you know that I am the only one here you monkeys should be obeying! You should be afraid when you hear the sound of my shoes from afar and none of that lady kois-kois I keep hearing from your lips these days. My name is Miss Boma! Not lady koi-kois or Aunty. Miss Boma! And these are stilettos! STI-LE-TTOS! Do you hear me?!”

“Yes ma!”

Miss Boma pulled back with surprised satisfaction at the quick chorused response and fixed her stare on Omasan.

“Omasan, I put you in charge of… What are you girls supposed to be doing now?”

“Siesta!”

“Okay, everybody, just go to sleep.”

The girls weren’t sure they heard her correctly.

“SIESTA!!!”

The scrambling back to the dorms began…

“STOP!”

The girls stopped…

“Do you have testicles? Walk like ladies to your rooms and Omasan?”

Omasan turned around as the girls took slow steps back inside.

“Come here!”

Omasan dragged her feet to her.

“Does something seem out of place here, Miss America?”

Omasan looked at her blankly.

“Buckets littered around, clothes on the ground, the tap behind me running… What do you think should be done?”

“Call the girls back to clean their mess?”

Miss Boma smiled, looked to the sky briefly and walked to Omasan with slow, deliberate steps. “I give you ten minutes to clean this place.”

“But ma–”

“TEN!”

Omasan squeezed her lips together to ward off tears.

“Oh, she’s going to cry. Hop to it before I tear you to pieces!”

Omasan turned around and Miss Boma slapped her cane on her bum with a nasty swack .

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Lady kois-kois is married to sa-tan

Back in the day she was a man

with testicles inside her pants

she has no heart because it has been damned

lady kois-kois…

“Shhh! She’s here!” Omasan’s bunk mate whispered but Omasan continued her song in rhythm to Miss Boma’s approaching steps. In her head, she already knew how many steps it would take the witch to get to her corner so she kept on with the song until Miss Boma approached her and stood over her head.

“Did I hear humming around here just now?”

Omasan’s eyes were shut tight.

“Omasan!”

The girl sprang up.

“Clean your corner; it’s dirty! The rest of you, go to bed!”

Kois-kois—kois-kois—kois-kois… Miss Boma tapped away.

Lady kois-kois is married to sa-tan

Omasan resumed and the girls burst into laughter so loud they did not realize the kois-koising had stopped.

“Oh God, she heard, she heard, she heard! She’s coming back!”

Bunks squeaked, blankets ‘whooped’ and the room fell dead silent again but Omasan remained awake. She was cleaning her bed as the moonlight from her window illuminated her corner. They said something snapped in her that night, that a familiar demon that often got her into trouble kept her singing that song. It danced to the rhythm in her head as it pulled the strings of her tongue, forcing her on. It cared not that Miss Boma was standing behind her, pure wrath sketched on her features as she listened to every word.

Omasan straightened her bed sheet and went into a crawling position to lie on her bed but the enraged Miss Boma landed both of her flattened palms on her back and an unwelcomed pain spread over Omasan’s vertebrae with a cackling ripple and she screamed out. The girls peeped from their blankets as Miss Boma dragged her prey out of her bed and pushed her with cane lashes out of the Yellow Room.

“So I am married to satan, ehn? You will see what that means! Useless child! Today, we will go and visit him! Oya, be going!”

She led her to the garbage collection room outside the dorms where the girls usually dumped the day’s dirt for the cleaners to clear the following morning. The dirt was often carried to a place called Satan’s Hill, a quarter of a kilometer away from the dormitories and dumped into a deep gully that separated the school from the cold, huge mountains that towered above the entire expanse. No one had crossed the gully for fear of an alleged ‘bottomless pit’ hidden from the sight of the human eye that swallowed everything that went into it but never filled to the brim.

“Oya, start by carrying that drum!”

Omasan looked at the plastic drum Miss Boma’s cane was pointing at. It was teeming with roaches and maggots, and saliva filled her mouth immediately.

“Quickly, pick it up!”

“Please ma,” Omasan begged, “I am sorry.” She knew she had no option. If Miss Boma reported her to the principal, it would be her last strike and she would be expelled and expulsion meant living in Nigeria with her mother.

“My friend, pick it up!”

Omasan searched for the demon that had encouraged her earlier but it was on its usual hiatus. In tears, she lifted the drum and swearing under her breath, made her way to the hill.

The scariest stories she had heard about Satan’s Hill were of the wailing, restless souls of an aborted baby that had been cast in the bottomless pit and a former head girl who had missed her step and came crashing down into that same pit. They said their bodies were never found and that at certain times at night, one could hear their wails carried by the wind, reaching as far as the main school gate which was over two kilometers away from the hill. Omasan had never believed those stories.

Sweating, despite the freezing Harmattan weather, Omasan finally reached the peak of Satan’s Hill and brushed away the maggots that were squirming around her hand. She pushed the drum and emptied its contents down the hill. A strange animal hooted in the distance and both ladies shivered.

“Pick the drum, let’s go back and get the others,” Miss Boma ordered and waited for Omasan but Omasan remained standing. “I said pick the drum!”

Omasan felt it before it filled the large veins that stood on the sides of her neck with its rage. Usually, it made her stomach churn before it began its work but now she felt no churning, just her veins pumping and her chest heaving. Her demon had taken over fully.

Miss Boma slapped her back with her cane. “I said pick the drum, my friend!”

“No!”

“What did you say?”

“I said no! I will not carry any more garbage! In short…” she lifted the drum and threw it over the hill, “to hell with you and I don’t care if they expel me, I will tell my daddy to destroy your life for all that you’re doing to me! You’re a bully!”

Miss Boma burst into laughter, her garbled sound echoing in the darkness as it hit the mountains, bounced off them and spread through the dark trees.

“You will report me to your daddy? And what will he do, child?” she laughed again. “What will he do that he has not done before? Your daddy used and discarded me like a piece of rag because you and your sisters made sure of that! Oh, Omasan, light of her daddy’s eyes,” Miss Boma pushed the teenager’s lips with her cane. “You are just a child and do not know what it means to have your heart broken by a man, to have him promise you forever only to abandon you a few weeks to your wedding, to have him give you a taste of the blessed shores overseas and snatch them off your hands before you can even breathe!” the woman said breathlessly, her hand in the air like one looking at something only her could see. There was pain in her eyes and if only Omasan was old enough, she would have understood it. All she saw was a woman who wanted to take the place of her mother and the riches that belonged to her and her siblings.

“Do you know what type of shame I faced? The pain I went through? The sleepless nights I shared with the devil who was telling me to kill myself every time?  Do you have any idea?! No, you don’t because it was all your fault. Your daddy told me specifically that marrying me will tear you apart because you are still very attached to your mother and the divorce was still hard on you. You are the reason I have no husband today. You!” she slapped her cheeks with the cane. “So why are you surprised that I am now satan’s wife sent to give you hell? Ehn? Why are you surprised? My friend, will you march back to the dorm and get the remaining drums before I beat the America out of you!”

Omasan shook in the cold, crying silently. Her rage was still seething beneath the surface but it lacked its initial venom because her demon had disappeared again. It hated when she was weak; it feasted on her pigheadedness and ire. Miss Boma had struck a cord and she couldn’t fight on, not with those words she had just heard. Defeated, she started off to the hostel first and had walked a good distance when Miss Boma called her back. “Come and remove my stilettos from this thing!”

The girl sighed and walked back. She looked at the woman’s feet and remembered the shoes. They actually belonged to her, a birthday present from her sister. Two new pairs of shining beauty but Miss Boma had seized them from her as contrabands and the very next day, wore them to school. The blue ones during the day and the red at night. Omasan never told anyone this.

“Oya, take off your socks and clean the shoes.”

Omasan noticed that the shoes were stuck in a mold of faeces and she fished around for a piece of paper large enough to rest Miss Boma’s feet on.

“Please ma, put your left leg on the paper, let me remove the shoe.

“Push her.”

Omasan heard the familiar voice. Her demon was back again. A feverish pleasure tickled her. She was not alone anymore.

“Push her!” the voice was so stronger and louder that she was scared Miss Boma heard it.

“Push her!”  The voice urged on ravenously.

“Remove your socks and clean it, my friend! Do you want to sleep here?” Miss Boma barked as she looked around her uneasily. The air had become eerily still. The trees stopped swaying and a dark cloud shadowed the moon. “Hurry!”

PUSH HER! PUSH HER! POOOOOOSH HER!!!

And without dithering, Omasan sprang up and jabbed Miss Boma with both hands on her chest, sending her rolling down backwards into Satan’s Hill. The woman screamed in sheer terror, clawing the air but she fell fast downhill. Omasan stood at the top and watched as the helpless creature tumbled for what seemed like a hundred times before she hit a dried leafless tree at the base of the gully that broke not only her fall but her left leg with a disturbing, cracking sound. After that, she simply disappeared into the darkness.

© Sally